(This chapter slightly revised in places for additional minor details 31st July, 2015; notes expanded, 5th May, 2016)
Disclaimer: I am not J. K. Rowling. I do not own Harry Potter. I am not Leslie Charteris. I do not own The Saint.
Note: The following is set in a crossover alternate universe where the existence of Simon Templar impacted events in wizarding society during the 20th century. This particular piece takes place at Christmas, 1979, and the scene is a small fortified residence adjacent to a goblin-run lead-mine. Some characters and events have diverged (or are in the process of diverging) considerably from the canon universe. In this universe James Potter married Selene Tilde Tombs, a grand-daughter of Simon Templar. Selene is tall, blue-eyed, blonde, and muggle.
Further Note: This piece is background/supporting material for the universe of the 'Saint Potter?' story. This piece is rated 'T'.
"I must say, it seems odd, with only the three of us here." Peter Pettigrew said, running his hands through his hair.
In deference to the humans' rather odd traditions the goblins had knocked off working at midday, to afford the humans some peace and quiet and privacy.
"For that matter," Peter continued, "it seems rather odd to be here at all this Christmas, and not in the old stately pile, James."
The scene was a room in a building built in an earlier age, for functionality rather than luxury, nestling in the upper reaches of the Pennines. The room currently served the purpose of a 'sitting room' and had been decorated – as much as the circumstances allowed – for Christmas, since it was, after all, Christmas Eve of 1979.
"Voldepolean may be in abeyance right now, but he's made it perfectly clear how disappointed he is with the last remaining pure-blood of the Potter line, and it didn't make any sense to hang onto the ancestral pile or estates." James said. "Better to sell them off and at least have the money for it, and maybe see them survive this conflict in someone else's hands, than just wait for masked mummers to show up one night to try and torch everything. It hurt to see them go, but they were too big and sprawling to defend, and anyway, we shan't lack for the funds now to see this war through to whatever miserable end it arrives at."
Selene entered the room with a large tray of biscuits, which she put down on a table within reach of the armchairs in which the two wizards sat.
James' eyes lit up, and he began to reach for them, but Selene lightly smacked his hand.
"Guests first, James." she lightly reprimanded him.
"Yes dear." James said dryly.
"Mmm. Thank-you Selene." Peter said in between crumbs as he took a couple and proceeded to cram one into his mouth. "Hazelnut? And freshly made?"
"Verily, and of course." Selene answered.
"Your wife is an excellent biscuit maker, James." Peter said.
"Oh, she's excellent at a number of other things, too." James said. "Superlatively so. Now may I have a biscuit, dear?"
"Of course, darling." Selene replied with a smile.
"I wish Padfoot and Moony could have made it, but they both pleaded other things to do, and cried off." Peter continued. "I rather get the impression that they're both still in a bit of a snit about the wedding."
"They knew the date. It's their own fault for not believing that we were going to go through with it and choosing to miss it." James said, his tone stiff for a moment. "Well that and their silly notions about Selene."
Selene snorted and muttered something under her breath which sounded like 'idiots'.
"They'll come around eventually." Peter said. "Well at least I hope that they will. It's deucedly awkward at the moment if I bump into them at Order HQ. Maybe… maybe Sirius is just doing it so he doesn't break his role?" the last was said almost hopefully.
"Why our former headmaster asked him to spy on the Death Eaters for him is beyond me." James said. "I'm still afraid to open the papers some mornings, in case there's a report that Sirius has turned up dead – or simply that apart from a couple of limbs found in public places, and his head on a pike outside the Ministry, he's disappeared altogether. Okay, so he was bloody good at putting on an innocent face and a charming smile whenever a teacher was asking about trouble at school – I only saw him lose it once in the fourth year, when the headmaster came down on us hard over the misfire of Sirius' crazy Shrieking Shack plot – but it's still something of a shock to gather that he can apparently fool Voldy; though I would have thought that that being the case, he could at least invent some convincing excuse to get away to spend a couple of hours on Christmas Eve with his friends. Well, at least he ought to be able to if his heart was really in it. And Remus… Remus I just don't understand at all these days." He sighed. "He was much simpler when he was at Hogwarts with us, and still went furry three nights every lunar month. I mean he's still a decent fellow, underneath, but whatever he saw… and did… 'out east' seems to have shocked him or something. Not that I'd wish him a werewolf again, but he just doesn't seem to be all there these days. And he should have got over Selene and stuff by now. The old Moony would have."
"We're none of us who we were at school still." Peter said, a touch mournfully.
"You are, Pete, still sticking with me through thick and thin." James said fondly. "Well, except obviously in your being a year or so older and wiser now."
Selene cleared her throat meaningfully.
"You can toast 'absent friends' over dinner tomorrow. And in the meantime, Peter, James and I have some news for you."
"What news?" Peter asked, wide-eyed and reaching for another biscuit.
"We're expecting an addition to our family, next summer." Selene said. "I'm pregnant."
Peter almost choked on the biscuit he'd just started to eat, and James hastily reached sideways and slapped him on the back.
"Preg…pregnant?" Peter spluttered. "Oh, that's wonderful news, but it seems so soon. I mean, I thought you two were going to wait until your wedding night, and what… it's less than two months since then? But, I, umm… congratulations, that is to say." He blinked rapidly. "Does that mean I get to be an honorary 'uncle'?"
"Of course, Peter." James beamed. "And Sirius and Remus too, if they can get over themselves. And on my side of things, we will put you very high on our list of baby-sitters, should we ever need one. Selene's convinced you'll be absolutely brilliant with children, and I haven't yet known her instincts to be wrong on anything important. Well not except on, umm… actually best not to say…" he hastily corrected himself, going absolutely crimson with the look he was being given by his wife.
"James Potter: I may not be a wand-waving witch, but I still have a very broad and highly creative selection of options available to me if you finish that sentence with what I think you intended to when you started it." Selene warned.
"She's absolutely terrifying, Peter." James said. "And absolutely brilliant."
In this universe, as part of his agenda for the future of magical society Lord Voldemort drew up a list of 'old pure-blood families' supposed to stay pure-blood, meaning the heads of family and their heirs were only supposed to marry pure-bloods or half-bloods with two magical parents. The Potters were one such family, and James marrying a muggle (at the end of October, 1979) provoked a serious level of threats from the Death Eater camp - sufficiently so that although Voldemort's guerrilla campaign against the British Ministry of Magic is in decline at this point, James has been lowering his profile and activities considerably.
In this universe, Albus Dumbledore asked Sirius Black to use his family's name and reputation to cozy up to Voldemort and spy on him for the Order of the Phoenix and Ministry. The mentioned 'Shrieking Shack' plot refers to an occasion when during the Marauders' fourth year at Hogwarts (in this universe) Sirius Black planned to lure Severus Snape into range of Remus Lupin during a night of the full-moon. It went astray when Severus snooped around a night early, in the company of Lily Evans...
After finishing his education at Hogwarts in the summer of 1978, this universe's Remus Lupin headed out to China and the far-east, to investigate (amongst other things) stories of highly risky cures for werewolves that could be found in places there.
Addition to Notes, 3rd May, 2016:
As far as this universe goes, it is assumed that (alongside the mine plus small residence where 'Christmas, 1979' takes place, which James still owns, as of this piece) the Potter family (prior to the start of the Wizarding War) owned some sort of well-appointed residence (the 'stately'/'ancestral' pile referred to in this chapter) which has been sold off at some point in this universe since James left Hogwarts.
James Potter's parents are also deceased in this universe by the time of this piece. (According to information available on Harry Potter wikia at the time of this update, in canon they were dead too before their canon grandchild was born.).